If our logic is faulty on one subject, is it faulty on every other subject?


Thank you, I appreciate your help in understanding.

On the subject of the thread I think that the OP has misunderstood that section of the Catechism dealing with the state of grace, as I’ve posted.


No, that’s not true. We know what it means. We just normally can’t discern whether a particular person at a particular time is actually in a state of grace.

So, if a person is just baptized, or just walks out of confession (having been absolved), we can say “they’re in a state of grace.”

Now, we can talk about ‘grave matter’ as an objective consideration – sins either are or aren’t grave matter. That’s pretty easy. However, the next two are subjective considerations. Therefore, it’s “above our pay grade”, as the saying goes, to determine whether another person has committed a mortal sin. In fact, we’re so good (as humans) at rationalization and other forms of self-deception that it’s difficult for each of us to say definitively about our own self whether we’re in a state of mortal sin! (St Paul mentions something much like this in one of his epistles!)

So, in summary: we can define all of the things you mention, and there are times when we can say “yep, he’s in a state of grace!”, but that doesn’t mean that we can proclaim that definitively about a person at any arbitrary time. And moreover, that doesn’t mean that we don’t know the definitions.


Are there different degrees of grace, and due to that we would not be able to say to what extent a person may be in a state of grace? Do you think?


No. Our inability to declare the state of a person’s soul doesn’t proceed from it being a difficult question (i.e., an inability to say “this degree of grace” as opposed to “that degree of grace”). The inability comes from the fact that we simply do not possess the competency to answer the question. Only God may answer it accurately, because… well… He’s God!


Council of Trent:
no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God


You can see that this isn’t talking about the definition of ‘grace’, right? It’s just talking about being able to declare it in a specific instance. :wink:


I ask because there is clearly a degree to sin, ie venial or mortal.
It just occurred to me that there might be degrees to the state of grace also.

Venial sin may mean loss of some but not all grace for example.

And I’m thinking that in the Hail Mary we say Full of grace in relation to Our Lady, whereas we would not ever describe ourselves as full of grace under any circumstances in this mortal state and probably never anywhere else either.


But wouldn’t this be self-refuting?

If we are easily capable of self-deception about truly knowing if we are in a mortal sin or not…then wouldn’t that mean we could be deceived in thinking this as well?

If our reasoning is deceptive, how could we ever prove it to ourselves since we would have to rely on that same deceptive reasoning?


You’ve taken that totally out of context.

That chapter of Trent is refuting the heretical “once saved, always saved” and “sola fide” doctrines of the reformation.


But doesn’t the Church teach that wen’t can’t know absolutely that we are in a state of grace at any moment in our life (save divine revelation)?


Yes and no.

I suggest you read this article:


I also suggest this article:



Now no one can know he has the knowledge of a conclusion if he does not know its principle. But the principle of grace and its object is God,

Is he saying that one can’t have full knowledge they are in a state of grace because they don’t have full knowledge of God?

Yet this knowledge is imperfect; hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 4:4): “I am not conscious to myself of anything, yet am I not hereby justified,” since, according to Psalm 18:13: “Who can understand sins? From my secret ones cleanse me, O Lord, and from those of others spare Thy servant.”

How can secret sins be mortal? If St. Paul is not conscious of mortal sins and still confesses, wouldn’t those sins be absolved?


I don’t think so. After all, I’m not saying that all of us, in every occasion, practice self-deceiving rationalization. Rather, it’s just something that’s possible and that some folks do. So, while a person who is honest with himself and who has a well-formed conscience really will think to himself, “yep… that was sure a mortal sin – I need to get to confession!”, there will still nevertheless be people who sit there and say, “no… that’s not a mortal sin for me !!!”

You can use this line of thought to prove the claim “some people can be mistaken about things.” Yes, that’s true – but it doesn’t mean that all people are mistaken about any particular thing. Can you see the distinction there?

Our reasoning can be self-deceiving. Aristotle (IIRC) talks about this – he mentions that the truly vicious person (i.e., one in the depths of vice) no longer notices his evil acts. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone is in that situation.




If people can be mistaken about things, what would be the difference in one thinking between “a square can’t be a circle” (which is 100% certain)…and “I’m am/am not in a state of mortal sin.” (room for error)

What would make the squared circle thought undeniable, and the mortal sin thought open to error?


not certain if they have wrong definitions of square and cirlce. people are flawed. you’re assuming they have proper definitions of circle and square which isn’t “100% certain”, in same way people have wrong definition of “moral sin” in their head.



Can’t you see a problem here though? How can we know if ANYTHING is “100% certain” then?..The dogma claims there are SOME things we can know with “100% certainty”…but how can we know with “100% certainty” THAT dogma is even true?

Even if one were to get get a special revelation from God they are in a state of grace, how can one even be “100% certain” that was even God talking to them?

Wouldn’t this be begging the question?


Go ahead and quote the dogma saying something is “100% certain”

I wasn’t aware of this so look forward to seeing the dogma


If anyone says that the one, true God, our creator and lord, cannot be known with certainty from the things that have been made, by the natural light of human reason: let him be anathema."----Vatican I

If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation (meaning that person can know absolutely); let him be anathema.----'Council of Trent

Plus it is just common sense there has to be at least one thing we can know is 100% certain…“We can’t know anything with 100% certainty”,


That’s deep man…

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